RUGBY: Newbold 2nds beat Leamington in 100-point game

James Ferris, with Matt Staley and Shaun Pollard   PICTURES BY STEVE SMITH
James Ferris, with Matt Staley and Shaun Pollard PICTURES BY STEVE SMITH

Determined team want to top table like their 1sts and 3rds

Warwickshire League 1

Ricky Lee on his way to a try, with Connor Gallagher, Jake Fletcher and Micky Pails in support

Ricky Lee on his way to a try, with Connor Gallagher, Jake Fletcher and Micky Pails in support

Newbold 2nd XV 64

Leamington 2nd XV 42

With the 1st team taking a well-earned break from their monumental efforts this season it was down to the 2nd team to provide the afternoon entertainment at Parkfield Road on beautiful winter’s afternoon writes Keith Fletcher.

Kicking off with the sun low in the sky behind them Newbold faced a very well drilled Leamington side looking to halt Newbold’s charge up Warwickshire 1 Merit League.

A frantic 90 seconds into the game saw Tom Clarke charge into the corner to open the scoring for the home side. Within two minutes Leamington had raced in under the posts to level and with their successful conversion took the lead.

Excellent play from both sides followed until a speculative clearance kick from Leamington saw the ball in the hands of Newbold’s fullback Adam Shaw who placed an exquisite chip ahead and rounded the flailing opposition’s defence to score in the corner.

The see-saw effect took hold as Leamington hit back with another well taken converted try five minutes later.

With 20 minutes on the clock a huge passage of play from the Newbold pack saw Tim Murphy score his first try of the day under the posts giving Adam the easiest of conversions.

Breaks from the Newbold backs saw the home side inside Leamington’s 22 and Tim Murphy surged over the line carrying a number of players with him, Adam converting to gain a 10-point lead.

With half time approaching Newbold did not want to let up and Captain James Ferris went over for a converted try after brilliant teamwork against the determined Leamington side.

Newbold seized on some slack tackling and Ricky Lee sprinted home, leaving opposition players and the large gathered crowd gasping at a fantastically taken solo try, and with Adam securing the extras it was 38-14 at the break.

Starting the second half Newbold looked all at sea. Leamington struck back 12 minutes in with a well taken try and conversion.

Missed tackles again gave Leamington impetus and at 60 minutes they breached the Newbold defence again to be within ten points.

Tackling much better Newbold then stopped the rampant Leamington lads in their tracks.

Winning the breakdowns was now key and the Newbold back row came into the game more and more. After some hard fought exchanges James Ferris took his chance to extend the slender lead to 17 points.

With that calming effect two minutes later Ryan Campbell cemented his place in the team with an expertly taken try, converted to go 24 ahead.

Not sitting on their laurels Newbold were hungry for more and Adam Shaw romped home for 59-28 with eight minutes to go.

Leamington conjured up two more converted tries for 59-42 as players looked dead on their feet.

But with the very last play of the game it was quite fitting that Richard Kirby (returning from indiscretion) dived over for the score.

Referee Andy Jones, who had an excellent game, brought this truly magnificent and yet frustrating game to a close.

Difficult to select a man of the match, however for sheer tenacity and graft three players get this week’s honour: Adam Shaw, Micky Pails and Joss Thompson. Excellent work.

From the outset this game always looked to be a fraught affair and so it transpired, both teams giving everything they had, not letting either team have their own way.

An exciting, frustrating, brutal, sublime and a quintessentially Newbold display of guts and determination just goes to show that being second in a league when the 1st and 3rd teams lead their respective leagues is not enough for Newbold 2s, who will keep pushing and never give up until the very end of any match, whatever or whoever the opposition.